Bright Lights – #alternateuniversealbum

In #alternateuniversealbum, Features, HOME, MUSIC by Sam Prance

#alternateuniversealbum is a feature in which we get people to tell us which album they’d choose if they had to leave earth today and go to a brand new universe empty of our music. Would they choose something to comfort themselves or would they choose something to help whatever may live or come to live in this new universe?

Bright Lights – Ellie Goulding

Ellie+Goulding+Bright+Lights2I cannot lie, it did not take me long to decide which artist I would like to write about when I was originally asked to write this piece. Choosing one specific album however, had its difficulties.

Ellie Goulding is an artist who is important to me for a number of personal reasons, with her music marking an important transitioning period in my life. Therefore, the album choice of ‘Bright Lights’ is chosen for purely selfish reasons (and in the hope that this “new universe” will enjoy listening and jogging to it as much as I do).

March 2010 marked the release of ‘Lights’ – Ellie’s debut album, as well as the care-free-spiritedness of my 19 year-old self. I seem to have listened to that album endlessly throughout the summer of 2010, continuing into autumn and winter with the re-released album ‘Bright Lights’ in November, which included six new additional tracks. 

Although many may put her under the same branch of artists such as: Little Boots, Imogen Heap, Björk, La Roux and Lykke Li, I have always felt that Ellie Goulding had been able to offer something different, mixing her folk-like sound with cycling synths and programmed beats.

It was quoted that: “Ellie’s approach to writing and recording is, she admits, borderline obsessive – but then, anything less, she says, would be a waste of time” and I think that is a very good outlook for anything that you love and are passionate about. If you want something, get it. 

Although the album as a whole makes for an exceptional mix of creative genius, there are three songs in particular that I love and appreciate for three different reasons.

Obviously, the first being her UK number one hit single “Starry Eyed” – when listening to it first, I completely hated it. I thought that it was far too try hard and “poppy” – however, after listening to the Jakwob remix, the song started to grow on me and so did my Ellie Goulding appreciation/obsession. 

“…fall head first like paper-planes and playground games…”

The second is “Under the Sheets” which, to me, had a much darker more club-like sound. I felt that her lyrics came from a much deeper place and because of that she was able to deliver them with more conviction, and dare I say…angst? The opening starts with Ellie beating on her drum, giving a really pure yet aggressive sound, at the same time setting the tone for the song as a whole.

“Our house made of paper, your words all over me”

“I’ll Hold My Breath” was the song which really set the vibe for that summer, taking influences from the two songs mentioned above. It had elements of the classic folk-pop vibe, yet at the same time, it didn’t lose any romantic emotion or conviction. Honestly, I think that it is just beautifully written and creates some fantastic imagery of a youthful and naive yet sweet relationship.

“We’ll watch the buildings turn to dust, a sky of diamonds just for us”

Overall, the album speaks to me personally and will forever be an important part to remembering past memories – which, if you are all alone in a new Universe – you might just want to have.

“You can’t change the world with a song, and you can’t make it right when it’s wrong”

James McLaren

James McLaren studies Marketing and Event Management at Queen Margaret University. He has an unhealthy obsession for black and white – often in the form of Starbucks coffee or Guinness. He is also a dedicated viewer of the show “Lindsay” and can also be seen singing in the street to Miley Cyrus, but never Twerking. Keeping it classy since 1991.

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